63-year old Kurdish woman charged for speaking Kurdish


Sultan Acibuca with colleagues from Mothers for Peace Initiative.

Sultani Acibuca has been charged to ten months for speaking Kurdish during a congress meeting of Peace and Democracy Party in Turkey. She is one of the members of ‘Mothers for Peace Initiative’ in Turkey. Her case is ongoing because Acibuca has other pending trials, it is alleged that she is a member of an illegal organisation on grounds that she participated in demonstrations, one of which was a solidarity protest for Hrant Dink, who was an Armenian journalist assassinated in 2007.

Her lawyer has said charging Acibuca is evidence that Kurdish is not allowed in Turkey when it comes to politics, and pointed out the irony of the case by saying, “Acıbuca’s speaking Kurdish in the congress cannot be considered a crime as she is provided a translator even at the court. The justice in Turkey has become the most unlawful institution”.

In 2010, the Izmir 10th High Criminal Court sentenced Acibuca to six years and three months in prison on charges of being a member of an illegal organisation. The charges were made on grounds of a speech she made on March 8th of 2008 in an event for International Women’s day.

In her speech, she called for an end to the ongoing violence between PKK and the Turkish army. She ended her speech in 2008 with “Enough is Enough! We don’t want war”. The court based the conviction on article 314/2 of the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK) and article 5 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK).